Eklutna Traverse

I just returned from a 5 day ski-mountaineering trip along the Eklutna Traverse, which starts on the Eagle Glacier above Girdwood and heads east to the toe of the Eklutna Glacier near Eklutna Lake. We had pretty good weather the whole trip and now I look like a raccoon. We got a helicopter-assist to the top of the glacier to save time and slogging 5000 feet from the valley floor below. Well worth a couple hundred dollars. It’s always an odd feeling to be in civilization and only 10 minutes later you’re dropped off in the middle of nowhere and it’s silent. We stayed at 3 Mountaineering Club of Alaska Hut’s along the way – Rosie’s Roost, Han’s Hut, and Pichler’s Perch. Bryan and I had been to Pichler’s Perch 2 years ago but Phil was totally new to glacier travel and huts, but he did awesome and we all had fun. We climbed and skied Antarctic View and Hut Peak along the way and made plans for future peak ascents in the area. There’s lots to climb there and it’s fairly easy to access everything on skis once you get onto the main glaciers. The trip out was fun – we got an ATV ride from one of Phil’s friends. We initially thought he was going to only carry our heavy packs back to the car, so we stashed mountain bikes at the end of the lake, but he showed up with a trailer also. Bryan and I crammed into the trailer with the skis, bags, and bikes, and got sprayed by mud and water and bounced around for 12 miles.

  • Getting the gear ready for helicopter drop off
  • Waiting to go!
  • Up up and away...
  • Bryan and Phil were pretty excited...
  • Packing up shop
  • Bye bye!
  • The Crew at Rosie's Roost
  • Phil trying to figure out where he is
  • Eagle Glacier - skied up the moraine on the right side of the glacier
  • Phil getting schooled on proper rope techniques
  • Going up Hut Peak
  • Shooting some portfolio pieces for Bryan's modeling career
  • Bryan and Phil
  • Looking down into the Eagle River valley
  • We skied that lovely slope at left twice! It was pretty nice.
  • Phil busting out some Tele turns on Hut Peak
  • Heading back up for another run on Hut Peak
  • Bryan dropping in off Hut Peak
  • Stretching at Hans Hut
  • Phil making a mess of the rope
  • Another portfolio piece for Bryan's modeling career - this one for his vintage collection
  • Crossing the Whiteout Glacier enroute to Pichler's Perch
  • Antarctic View Peak - Skied this one
  • Hanging out at Whiteout Pass
  • Crossing the Eklutna glacier
  • Arriving at Pichler's Perch as a snow squall comes in
  • Pichler's Perch in the snow squall
  • 10 minutes later the sun is back out and the snow has stopped!
  • View from Pichler's Perch towards Eklutna Lake
  • Phil getting the stove ready for action
  • Bryan checking out the descent route
  • This is where we slept in all the huts
  • Phil making it all look easy - rappelling down the Eklutna Glacier toe
  • Coming off the Eklutna Glacier near the toe
  • Phil is all smiles!
  • From the toe of the Eklutna Glacier - Bold Peak above. Bryan and I climbed that 3 years ago! Crazy!
  • Phil and Bryan really bonded on this trip
  • Finally off the glacier!
  • Heading home
  • Bryan is happy to have his 80lb pack off
  • Riding out
  • What a scene!

2 Responses to Eklutna Traverse

  1. Anonymous

    too cool!

  2. Frank E. Baker

    We saw you on the trail on your way out — we hiked up to where you came off the
    toe of the glacier. Great photos — hope to do this trip myself some day, at least to
    Pichler’s Perch to get a view of the glacier’s expanse. Take care,

    Frank E. Baker